Wales

Ffos Las race named after 100-1 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner

Norton's Coin Image copyright Sirrell Griffiths
Image caption Norton's Coin shocked the racing world in 1990

Driven to the race after the morning milk round, a 100-1 shot went nose-to-nose with Desert Orchid and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Norton's Coin, owned by a Carmarthenshire farmer and more used to point-to-point, shocked the racing world with his 1990 victory.

Winning by three quarters of a length, he also broke the course record.

As a lasting tribute, the Ffos Las Racecourse, just 20 miles from where he trained, has named a race after him.

The Norton's Coin Cup Novices' Chase will be held for the first time on 19 October, the same day as the biggest race of the year at the course near Llanelli, the Low Cost Vans Welsh Champion Hurdle.

Between 1983 and 1991, Desert Orchid won a string of titles and more than £650,000 in prize money, making him one of the most decorated racehorses of his time.

It was Carmarthenshire farmer Sirrell Griffiths who first spotted Norton's Coin as a foal and tracked his success in point-to-point races.

He then bought him to join his stable with just a few other horses and masterminded his career as owner, trainer and work-rider.

On the morning of his greatest success, Mr Griffiths finished his milk round before driving Norton's Coin to Cheltenham.

Image copyright Sirrell Griffiths
Image caption Sirrell Griffiths (right) received his prize from the Queen Mother

Phil Bell, executive director of Ffos Las, said officials wanted to give the "incredible story" the recognition it deserved.

"By beating Desert Orchid and winning the jewel in the crown of jump racing, Norton's Coin and owner Sirrell Griffiths earned the admiration and respect of a generation, but they've never been properly honoured for their success," he added.

Norton's Coin was retired in February 1993 and died eight years later at the age of 20.

Image copyright Sirrell Griffiths
Image caption The Cheltenham Gold Cup has 22 fences over the three-mile course

He is now buried in the same Carmarthenshire field he was born in.

Mr Griffiths said: "Norton's Coin provided me with a fairy tale success which produced national headlines not just in racing but across the sporting world.

"I am delighted that Ffos Las have agreed to name a race in his memory, it means Norton's Coin will live on and be remembered annually by the nation's racegoers."

Image copyright Sirrell Griffiths
Image caption Norton's Coin is buried in the same Carmarthenshire field he was born in
Image copyright Sirrell Griffiths
Image caption The horse also broke the course record

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